New user - looking for hard rock lead tone (Shawn Lane, Guthrie Govan, etc) - Ideas?

  • I bought a Kemper because I moved and can no longer really make use of my Diesel Einstein, Diesel VH4S and other tube amps. I used to record with a Royer R121 and SM57, in front of a Diesel 4x12, through Great River preamp. But now I want to try the Kemper route - and I don't want to profile my rig, because I don't have the right environment to place a cab and mic for good profiling. I will use my tube amps when situations make it possible, but for now I just want to get up and running with Kemper.



    I am into mostly melodic instrumental rock, where my lead tone tends to be fairly high gain so I can play nice harmonics and have decent sustain. I also play a lot of clean as well. Einstein is such a great amp for heavy and clean. So I need to maintain that, but not necessarily with Einstein profile.



    I have heard some Frank Gamble stuff on Cornford amps and I think at times his tone is awesome. I also loved Nuno Bettencourt's tone on Extreme's first CD - perhaps my ideal tone to shoot for. Govan sometimes has good tone, but a little plain for my taste. I really dig Shawn Lane's tone, the way his low end has such nice definition coming through in mixes. For less heavy stuff, I tend to like Larry Carlton's tone. I think Andy Timmons also has some good tone on certain songs.



    So maybe you get the idea about the kind of tone I am into - very articulate.



    My main guitars are Suhr, with Suhr pickups (two humbuckers). Not ultra hot, but fairly hot pickups.



    Ideally, the profile would get me the sound I want coming out of my monitoring speakers. I always play and listen to myself through monitors. I always want to know how I will sound recorded. Something from an R121 would be ideal, but not a show stopper.



    Look forward to a chat here!



    Brian

  • Welcome, Brian!


    Geez mate, we've got the same tastes. Lane, Govan, Gamble, Carlton, Suhr... play through monitors. Perhaps the only difference between you and me is that I literally cannot play; I'm a hack! I stand behind my good taste, 'though. LOL


    Do you have a Modern Satin by any chance? The woody tones from that thing crap all over the chimey, somewhat-thin-and-scratchy-sounding Modern Pro, IMHO. All that extra dough for the Pro goes into the maple top & finish, IMHO; the Satin, again IMHO, sounds so much better that it's in a different league, and yet it's way-cheaper 'cause of, I'm guessing, the almost-non-existent finish.


    I wouldn't be concerned about achieving the sorts of tones you're after; the Kemper will deliver, man. I recommend looking at the Amp-block parameters when you first dive in. Yes, the EQ Stack is surprisingly-good, but IMHO you're better off playing with parameters such as Definition before hitting it too hard. Personally, I like to tweak Definition, Sag, Amp Compression and perhaps the pick parameters before I even look at EQ. It makes sense when you think about it - these parameters are "under-the-hood" amp tweaks, and therefore logically come before the icing-on-the-cake (if necessary) EQ block.


    Anyway, welcome again, and have fun, mate!

  • A cornford profile would be a good place to start. The MK50 will definitely get you into those players ballparks.


    For the Guthrie sort of sound, anything Marshall flavoured will also be a safe bet (including marshalls themselves of course!) you'd probably enjoy a good Friedman HBE which will sit you nicely in that gain area. A big part of Guthrie's tone comes from riding his volume knob/pedal to adjust the gain to his liking, so experiment with some good mid-gain profiles and roll the volume back for a clean tone. I think currently the man himself is rocking a Victory but bear in mind that the erotic cakes and early aristocrats stuff was all cornford.


    The common thing with all the players you mention is that they all use a lot less gain than a lot of people think. That's how they get that definition and tightness in the low end, they don't have the level of saturation in the gain that guys like Vai and Satch use for their creamy, lush, singing lead tones. Back it down to something mid-gain and everything will tighten up, giving you the punch and bark you hear in those guys tones.


    There's loads of great profiles on the rig exchange, so try a few out and see what you like the sound of.


    On last word of advice, what works for them may not work for you. I absolutely love Vai's tone from his legacy, but it just doesn't work for me. Far too much gain, and I lose a lot of attack which it turns out is a big part of my playing style. So while it's great to experiment with amps (hey, that's why we have kempers right?) you will end up much happier if you choose the amp which matches YOU best. Took me a long time and a lot of profile tweaking before I just gave up and tried some new approaches. Turns out I didn't like what I thought I liked ;-)


    All the best buddy!

  • Interesting. So if I understand correct, there are two approaches - use a downloaded profile, or just tweak factory settings of the Kemper? How do you start from 'factory'? When I load up Kemper, it seems to want to start from a given profile (listed alphabetically, for example, upon first power up).


    thanks,


    Brian


    BTW - so far my favorite built in profile is the VH4. Maybe my bias as a Diesel owner, but that profile had great combo of clarity, tightness, articulation.

  • There are just profiles. A new Kemper comes with an X amount of profiles pre-loaded - the factory profiles. You can also buy profiles from vendors which you load into the Profiler, or get them from the Rig Exchange. In the latest version of Rig Manager, there are "Rig Packs" which are selections of profiles from some profile vendors, it's a great way to have a try at different amp sounds and get a feel for things.

  • Michael Britt has some profiles of a Dumble ODS set to Carlton settings in his D-Pack. There is one profile in his rig pack in the Rig manager, so you can try it out and see if a Dumble is your thing.

    Britts Dumble profiles are superb imho. The clean is especially nice too.

  • The common thing with all the players you mention is that they all use a lot less gain than a lot of people think. That's how they get that definition and tightness in the low end, they don't have the level of saturation in the gain that guys like Vai and Satch use for their creamy, lush, singing lead tones. Back it down to something mid-gain and everything will tighten up, giving you the punch and bark you hear in those guys tones.

    Trevor Rabin said in an interview back in the 80's that gain is widely misunderstood and that Compression is what players need to increase to get that sound

  • Compression is definitely a shredder's best friend. By smoothing out the peaks on your signal, it has the effect of making your quieter notes seem louder and your loud notes seem quieter (that's not what it does, it just makes your loud notes less prominent)


    By doing that, it improves the sound of your alternate picked and legato lines because each note has a much more even tone.


    Excessive levels of gain cause a natural compression to the sound and is often why guitarists favour high gain levels.


    Good old Trev had it exactly right (as usual )


    ALTHOUGH!


    Just a PSA, cranking compression will cost you in dynamics. Sometimes people equate this to a loss of "feel" or "tone". So if you like to dig in with the pick every now and then, use compression with a sprinkle rather than a pour!

  • Bill Ruperts rig pack had a Holdsworth ( RIP such a loss ) Profile, can't remember the details of amp ect, but it's definitely got that compressed hi gain fusion thing happening, well worth a look.

    New talent management advice to Laura Cox -


    “Laura want to break the internet? let’s shoot another video of you covering the Nightrain solo in the blue singlet, but this time we’ll crank up the air conditioning”.